British Boy’s Annual

Here is a checklist for The British Boys’s Annual, which was published from 1910 to 1933. From 1910 to 1926, it was published by Cassell, and from 1927 it was published by Amalgamated Press. If you look at second-hand book sites like Abebooks or eBay, you’ll find a great deal of confusing descriptions of these books, with many of them appearing undated and simply described as “the first story is …” or “the cover shows …”. This is mainly because the annuals were only explicitly dated on the dust jacket, spine or title page between 1910 and 1920. Annuals issued between 1920 and 1926 have a printer’s code at the bottom of the final page.

Although the annuals were published every year between 1910 and 1933, there is a gap in the “title date,” the year that the book was claimed to be for. The “British Boy’s Annual for 1910” was published in 1910, and so on up to and including 1914. However, that made each book seem out of date only a week after the child had unwrapped it on Christmas Day, so the annual published in 1915 was the “British Boy’s Annual for 1916.”

There is a corresponding “British Girl’s Annual.”

Notes on the table below:

Pictures Visible dates on ...
Published Year Jacket Cover Title Year d/j Spine Title Printer’s code FMI First story / Long story Editor
1910 1910 N “” by ? / “” by ?
1911 man fighting off golden eagle 1911 N “Pat and His Whaler” by Fleet-Surgeon T. T. Jeans / “” by ?
1912 1912 N “” by ? / “” by ?
1913 Indian in turban on horseback with spear 1913 Y (none) Pend “The Sea Patrol” by Ralph Simmonds / “And A. N. Other” by Ralph Simmonds
1914 1914 N Y N “The Night Air-Mail” by Claude Grahame-White and Harry Harper / “Shoulder to Shoulder” by Ralph Simmonds
1915 1916 N “” by ? / “” by ?
1916 1917 N “” by ? / “” by ?
1917 1918 N “” by ? / “” by ?
1918 man on horse pointing to sign on wooden wall 1919 N “” by ? / “” by ?
1919 sailor at ship's wheel 1920 Y Y 35.819 Pend “The Whirlpool’s Grip” by H. Mortimer Batten / “Kidnapped in the Reign of Terror” by S. Walkey
1920 sailors reaching up to chest 1921 Y Y (none) Pend “Photography in the Tree Tops” by Captain C. W. R. Knight / “Mr. Greatheart of the ‘Phantom Brig’” by Frank H. Shaw Eric Wood
1921 man on horseback capturing bear 1922 N N 190.521 N “Nothing Like a Hero” by Gunby Hadath / ditto Eric Wood
1922 native American with spear on horse with cowboy on foot (none) "13" 230.322 Pend “Antarctic Adventures” by Capt. E. R. G. R. Evans / “Into the Golden West” by Frank H. Shaw Eric Wood
1923 pirate examining chest (none) N "14" 215.523 Pend “The Great Age of Mammals” by Sir Harry Johnston, G.C.M.G. / “The Heritage of Robin Hood” by Eric Wood Eric Wood
1924 (none) N "15" F.225.524 N “Shooting Wild Beasts with a Camera” by Major A. Radclyffe Dugmore / “White Man’s Fashion” by Captain Frank H. Shaw
1925 (none) N "16" N “” by ? / “” by ?
1926 airship and helicopter (none) "17" 270.326 Pend “Wonders of Modern Aircraft” by Clarence Winchester / “King of the Speedway” by John Hunter
1927 (none) N “” by ? / “” by ?
1928 (none) N “” by ? / “” by ?
1929 (none) N N N Pend “The Spectre Ship of the Atlantic” by George E. Hopcroft / “Up to Scratch” by A. Harcourt Burrage H. Darkin Williams
1930 speedboat called 'Flash' (facing p.64) prisoner held by bare-chested man, in front of fire (none) N N (none) Pend “The Air Bandit” by Judson P. Philips / “The Secret of the Valley that Roared” by Frances Cowan
1931 sailors swarming up side of ship (facing p.168) (none) N N (none) N “Thanks to the Pup!” by John Brearley / “The Disappearing Gun-Runner” by Percy F. Westerman H. Darkin Williams
1932 cricketer carried on shoulders (none) N N (none) N “Spanish Gold” by W. H. Morris / “Sleuths of the Air” by Percy Westerman H. Darkin Williams
1933 (none) N “” by ? / “” by ?
cover illus.
(10) 1918      - man on horse pointing at poster on wooden wall
(12) ????      - aeroplane climbing away from ship's funnel
(14) ????      - runaway stagecoach in Old West, first "A Life of Adventure" by Ernest Smith
(16) ????      - boys playing football